Friday, November 18, 2011

The Cabin by Smoky Trudeau Zeidel (Reviewed by Melissa)

   A hauntingly beautiful story filled with plenty of characters, controversy and magic, The Cabin is a must read story. The Cabin follows, and connects, generations of the Hoffman family. The story line involves fairy magic, strong family ties, the Civil War and Underground Railroad. 

   The story starts off in 1846 with Corrine and her sister Catherine, two woman who have a deep connectedness between themselves and the Allegheny Mountains of Virginia. The connection with the girls to the mountains transcends the tangible for it is part of the mountain magic they have been raised on. While out for a walk shortly after the birth of her daughter Elizabeth, Corrine finds a fairy stone with 3 crosses on it. While washing the stone it falls and one of the crosses falls off. Not understanding why the stone feels warm Corrine heads home. Upon trying to cross the threshold Corrine is thrust into the future, thus beginning the intricate plot of the story.

   At first it is a little hard to follow the back and forth between the future and present due to all of the characters, but if you stick with it the characters begin to be defined and the story once again flows like, well, magic. The reader is introduced to modern day James-Cyrus Hoffman, a descendant of Corrine and Catherine. James-Cyrus, or J.C. as he is sometime referred to, has dreamed of the cabin, with voices of children and women long passed, for as long as he can remember. Still reeling from the death of his grandfather, who has raised him since his mother died and childbirth and his father committed suicide, J.C. decides to hike the hills in search of the cabin that has plagued him for as long as he can remember. On the way up the mountain he finds a part of the fairy stone. Here is an excerpt that describes the fairy stone, an item that J.C. has been curious about since he was a small boy.

"Many, many years before Chief Powhatan and his people roamed the woods and valleys
of Virginia, the fairies made this their home." Cora stirred as she talked, her golden
eyes staring into the kettle as if they and not the fire beneath were what caused it to
stew. "The fairies led a carefree, happy life, dancing around a beautiful spring and 
playing with the elves. But one day, their happy existence came to an end. An elfin
messenger came from a land far away to tell the fairies of the death of Jesus Christ. 
The fairies wept with sorrow, their tears crystallizing into beautiful crosses as they fell 
to earth. Not long after that, the fairies themselves disappeared."

   Those tears became the fairy stones. Not long into the hike he finds the cabin. When he crosses over the threshold he is transported into the past where he meets Elizabeth, Corrine's daughter. Elizabeth's story is a large part of the story, and a huge part of which makes the story controversial. 

   Elizabeth's father, William, finds a wounded man who's name is Malachi, a black man with skin the color of milky tea and eyes the color of chestnuts. While he is there recovering she nurses him back to health, meanwhile falling in love with him. To make matters even more difficult Malachi is a conductor on the Underground Railroad, along with her father, and soon their home becomes station along the railroad. 

   There is plenty of confusion amongst the characters as to why they keep becoming connected to other times, but by more than halfway through the book the reasons become clear. Now the must fix what has gone wrong to save lives and keep the future in tact. A wonderfully spun tale, this book is a must read. As I said before, you might temporarily get confused with all of the characters but soon you'll come to know and love them. In my opinion this book definitely has a 5 star review.
   I was not paid for this review.The book itself was gifted to me, and that's all there is to it :)) My opinion was in no way swayed, This review is how I truly feel. Thank you for reading, have a great evening! Curl up with a good book tonight.-Melissa
A room without books is like a body without a soul. -Cicero


Wonderful review, beautifully written. Thanks, Melissa.

Great review of a book I like a lot.


Super review! I look forward to reading The Cabin. Thank you.

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